The Caraga Food Innovation Center (Caraga FIC), together with the College of Agriculture and Agri-Industries (CAA), has taken bold steps in addressing the issues associated with the health crisis brought about by COVID-19. In their effort to be relevant to the country’s health crisis, the FIC and CAA produced ‘Manna Bar’, a nutrient-packed food designed to boost the immune system. ‘Manna Bar’ is a delicious and nutritious food created from mungbean, malunggay, honey, oatmeal, cashew nuts and raisins to provide generous amount of nutrients to keep our frontliners and task force strong and healthy. “Manna”, also known as the “Bread of Heaven”, is a biblical term that refers to the food that God miraculously provided to Israelites particularly during famine (Psalm 78:24). With the current health crisis the Philippine and the entire world is facing, the Caraga FIC and CAA followed the work of our Creator and considered themselves to be among the backliners supporting the frontliners in their fight against COVID-19.
The first COVID-19 case in the Philippines was recorded on January 2020. Since then, the frontliners (nurses, doctors, researchers, scientists, and the like) and Task Force (policemen, soldiers, personnel in border checkpoints, and the like) have been doing their best to stop the spread of the disease. Most people are now in their respective homes following the directive of the Philippine Government to “Stay at Home” to halt the transmission of the virus. However, the medical and security frontliners and task force continue to be on the ground to give service and do their responsibilities in health and social protection. The food shared with them can somehow inspire the frontliners to continue the fight, with faith in their hearts and confidence that we are all in this together.
As a response to this emergency, FIC Director Genesis Jared Cutamora, College Dean Dr. Elizabeth Parac, and the college faculty and staff have joined hands to produce functional foods, including these nutritious Manna Bars. The initial bars have been distributed to the Department of Health - Caraga, Ampayon Check Point, and tasks force in Antongalon, Sumilihon, Taguibo, and CSU on April 8, 2020. This initiative would never have been successful without the financial and moral support of every faculty and staff of the college. Motivated by this success, the FIC-Caraga and CAA look forward to receiving more support (financial, in-kind, and moral) to continue serving as a bridge to help the communities, frontliners, and the security task force. JALangres